August 14, 2018

Excellent access to drinking water in schools encourages the consumption of drinking water over sugar-sweetened beverages, which offers a host of benefits, including physical health and mental function. California enacted legislation in 2010 which required the provision of free drinking water in food service areas during meal times in public schools. A new policy brief from California Food Policy Advocates summarizes how drinking water access in California public schools has changed since 2010 and proposes additional policy recommendations to make drinking water accessible and safe in our schools.

There have been marked improvements in drinking water access in California public schools, including:

  • Increases in the number of water sources per number of students

  • Improvements in schools providing access to water in key locations, including outdoor physical activity areas, food services areas and temporary structures

  • Increased share of schools providing non-fountain dr...

July 17, 2017

A new paper from researcher Jodi Stookey in Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism outlines what factors to consider when designing effective school-based drinking water interventions.

Experimenting with changes to drinking water systems in schools may have positive effects on weight and risk of obesity for children, but there are particular conditions of the intervention that may maximize these effects. The success depends on factors such as the initial weight status, total beverage intake pattern, dietary restraint, diet composition and activity level of the target population. Strategic planning helps to create and sustain these particular conditions needed for the best possible outcomes for the intervention.

This paper outlines some important questions to consider when planning a drinking water intervention. These questions are motivated by significant results from randomized controlled trials. In addition, the paper looks at the recently successful school-based drinking-water in...

June 27, 2017

Drinking water, public health, and obesity prevention stakeholders gathered for an interactive workshop at the 9th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference on May 30 to share ideas and discuss strategies.

Hosted by the National Drinking Water Alliance and University of California Nutrition Policy Institute, participants updated one another on the latest and greatest in drinking water via a “Data Walk,” organized into the four buckets of Alliance activity: research, policy, access and safety, and education and promotion. They also brainstormed strategies for focusing on infants and young children, as well

as messaging on water safety and promotion.

Session highlights included:

  • New recommendations for infant and toddler beverage intake

  • An update on a new product from Brita that filters for lead

  • Findings from University of Washington’s Center for Public Health Nutrition research on water access and student and staff perceptions about water in high schools

  • Effor...

May 30, 2017

Where is tap water putting children at risk and how are state leaders responding?

University of California Nutrition Policy Institute and the National Drinking Water Alliance just released an interactive map identifying places across the country where drinking water has been rendered unsafe to drink by lead or other contaminants. The map was created to fill a gap:  there is little readily accessible information on the extent of tap water contamination across the U.S. 

Each pin tells a story: you can link to news articles about drinking water contamination around the U.S. You’ll see the states that have adopted policies or programs to test for lead in schools and childcare, and the states considering such action. You can sort each incident by Congressional district. The tool bar on the upper left side provides a legend feature and a layers feature to access the different types of information.

How does tap water get contaminated?  Source water can be contaminated by heavy...

March 27, 2017

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is engaged in a process to derive a new, health-based benchmark for lead in drinking water.  EPA’s draft report on approaches to develop such a benchmark is in a public comment period (ends April 5, 2017). Currently, through the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR), EPA sets an action level for lead that essentially signifies a lead level at which water systems must undertake corrosion control actions.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), in response to EPA’s draft report, has posted an excellent series of articles with clear explanations of the factors and considerations that underlie an understanding of lead exposure hazards:

  1. “With draft report, EPA takes major step to help communities assess risks from lead in drinking water” (Jan. 13) explains the approaches used by EPA to model a health-based benchmark.
     

  2. “When it comes to lead, formula-fed infants get most from water and toddlers from food, but for highest exposed children the mai...

March 23, 2017

Since 2011, child care centers and day care homes participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) have been required by law to make potable (safe) drinking water available to children throughout the day, when they ask for it. What a victory!  

And now there’s even better news: starting October 1, 2017, the centers and homes must also offer water to children at different times during the day. A 2016 memo from the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) expanded the “make available” requirements to “make available and offer,” to reach those very young children who can’t ask for water, or may not know how to ask for it.  

What this Means:

  • Offer water using visual cues such as a cup or pitcher while verbally offering water to children.

  • Milk must be served as part of a reimbursable meal, but water may also be placed on the table.

  • Water must be available during meal times, but not necessarily served as part of the meal.

Drinking Water Best Practices...

February 1, 2017

Drinking water instead of sugary beverages is an important step in improving oral health and, when it’s tap water, it usually includes the added benefit of fluoride to strengthen the tooth’s enamel protection.

In celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month, the American Dental Association (ADA) and ADA Foundation are offering free oral health posters for free (with a small shipping fee). These colorful posters in English and Spanish are great for school nurses, water promotion in school and childcare, and of course, the dentist’s office! 

The 2017 NCDHM poster says "Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile". Posters are 12"x18", English on the front and Spanish on the back. Each packet contains 25 posters.  Orders are limited to 8 packets (200 posters). For orders larger than 200 posters, please call Sharee Clough, 312/440-2775. Receive 75% off of shipping, using promo code 16804.

  • ADA members – Please use your ADA member log-in and password.

  • Non-member...

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